Results tagged ‘ Astros ’
The Astros have reached an agreement with the versatile Bill Hall, sources confirmed to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart on Friday. According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, Hall will become the Astros’ new second baseman on a one-year contract that’s worth about $3 million and includes a mutual option for 2012.
Hall, 31 on Dec. 28, signed with the Red Sox last offseason as a utility man but wound up playing in 119 games and getting nearly 400 plate appearances due to a rash of injuries. In that time, the right-handed hitter batted .247 with 18 homers and 46 RBIs while appearing in left field (55 games), second base (51), right field (nine), center field (seven), shortstop (six), third base (five) and even pitching an inning.
For his nine-year career – which saw him spend his first seven-plus years with the Brewers – Hall is a.250 hitter with a .310 on-base percentage and 122 homers. Of his 940 games in the field, 155 have been played at second base.
– Brian McTaggart
It turns out Orlando Hudson may be team-less no more.
Hudson broke the news himself on MLB Network Radio that his next destination is San Diego, and FOXSports.com reported that the Padres and the free-agent second baseman agreed to terms on a two-year, $11.5 million contract.
Hudson — a two-time All-Star joining his fourth team in four years — will fill the role played last year by David Eckstein, who’s a free agent and said recently that the Padres have not contacted him about a return.
Here’s more from around the league …
* The Yankees, according to multiple reports, have agreed on a two-year contract with veteran reliever Pedro Feliciano. Feliciano, the former Met who has led the Majors in appearances each of the last three seasons, joins Boone Logan to give the Yanks two lefties in the bullpen.
* Reigning World Series MVP Edgar Renteria was none-too-thrilled with the $1 million offer the Giants tendered him this offseason. “That offer from the Giants was a lack of respect,” Renteria told ESPNdeportes.com. “A total disrespect.” Renteria has previously stated he’d like to finish his career with the Marlins or Cardinals.
* The Astros reached an agreement with the versatile Bill Hall to be their starting second baseman, sources told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the two sides agreed on a one-year contract worth about about $3 million and with a mutual option for 2012.
– Alden Gonzalez
The Astros reached an agreement on a one-year contract with left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, a person close to the negotiations told MLB.com. The signing will be made official when he passes a physical.
Rowland-Smith, 27, has spent the previous four seasons with the Seattle Mariners, going 12-17 with a 4.57 ERA in 115 games, including 47 starts. He’ll come to Spring Training competing for the fifth spot in the Astros’ starting rotation.
The native Australian posted solid numbers in 2008 and 2009 before suffering through a 1-10 season with a 6.75 ERA in 2010 before the Mariners non-tendered him. He pitched for Australian in the 2004 Olympics and 2006 World Baseball Classic.
– Brian McTaggart
The Astros had a couple of conversations Tuesday with the agents for free agent Bill Hall, a versatile player who hit 18 homers and drove in 46 runs for the Boston Red Sox last season. Hall has extensive experience at second base, which is an area the Astros are trying to upgrade.
“We had a couple of conversations, but it was nothing very substantial,” said Terry Bross, the agent for Hall.
Astros general manager Ed Wade told reporters during a media briefing Tuesday afternoon the club is looking at options at second base. Jeff Keppinger won the starting job last season and led to the release of Kaz Matsui, but the club envisions second as a place where it can get better offensive production.
Hall, 30, is a career .250 hitter with 122 homers and 425 RBIs since he broke in with Milwaukee in 2002. He can play pretty much anywhere in the infield and can even handle some limited outfield duties, but he has extensive experience at second.
– Brian McTaggart
Could the Astros be looking to trade Matt Lindstrom and Jeff Keppinger? According to a report by AOL Fanhouse, the Astros are looking to move Lindstrom and Keppinger in an effort to cut payroll in the wake of the impending sale of the team.
The Astros have made it clear their desire to improve the offense in the middle of the infield, and they have already traded for Clint Barmes, who will likely play shortstop. Still, if they couldbeef up their offense at second, they’ll do it. Houston also has good depth in the back of the bullpen and is satisfied with the job Brandon Lyon did as closer last year.
Lindstrom began last season as the Astros’ closer, but lost his job in the second half of the season after battling back troubles. He earned $1.625 million last season in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Keppinger, who hit .288 with 34 doubles and 122 starts at second, made $1.15 million last season and is eligible for arbitration.
– Brian McTaggart
Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has said it’s doubtful he can land a big bat, but he’s trying. According to The Denver Post, the Rockies have aggressively pursued switch-hitting Lance Berkman to play the outfield corners and occasionally spell Todd Helton at first base.
The key here would be Berkman’s desire to return to the National League. Berkman saw a dramatic drop in his power with the Astros and Yankees last season, although finished he year with the Yankees as a designated hitter on an upswing as far as average is concerned.
An important aspect of the pursuit of Berkman, according to the Post, is Helton would be on board with bringing in Berkman. The two have the same agent. Helton helped the Rockies recruit Jason Giambi as his backup last season, but by season’s end Helton admitted not playing nearly every game was difficult. Still, the Rockies need a solid alternative, given Helton’s history of back problems and his age.
The Rockies desire a right-handed corner bat, preferably one that can play some first base. Berkman has more power from the left than from the right, but he fits — if the price is right. The Cardinals, Blue Jays and Athletics also have pursued Berkman.
The Mariners’ Jose Lopez, if he’s non-tendered, Jorge Cantu, whom the Rockies considered trading for last season, and Troy Glaus are acknowledged targets. The Rockies also are looking at the Athletics, who appear to be deciding whether to non-tender Edwin Encarnacion or Colorado native Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Some current Rockies will no doubt be watching the situation closely. Third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielders Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs could potentially lose playing time, depending on who is signed. Interestingly, the Rockies hired Carney Lansford as hitting coach and charged him with the task of waking up the bats of all three. Stewart and Smith didn’t meet the club’s expectations for production last year. Spilborghs finished strong but struggled with strikeouts early.
– Thomas Harding
With one week remaining until the start of the usually-hectic Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the busy Dodgers made another move, agreeing to terms with Juan Uribe on a three-year deal reportedly worth about $21 million.
With Uribe, the Dodgers swipe a big piece of the Giants’ World Series championship run away from their division rivals and add a much-needed right-handed power bat to the middle of the lineup. Uribe played 103 games at shortstop, 26 at third base and 24 at second while batting .248 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs in 2010 (not including a postseason run that saw him drive in nine runs in 14 games).
In Los Angeles, he figures to start at second base, which will likely lead to the non-tendering of Trade Deadline acquisition Ryan Theriot. Despite dealing with instability up top, the Dodgers had already locked up their rotation by re-signing Ted Lilly and acquiring Jon Garland.
Here’s more from around the league …
* The Rangers signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a two-year
contract. Torrealba, a 10-year veteran who played in 95 games for the
Padres in 2010 — batting .271 with seven homers and 37 RBIs while
starting 89 games — fills a void left by Bengie Molina (likely retired) and Matt Treanor (free agent). The deal, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, is worth $6.25 million.
* They also avoided an arbitration hearing with Mark Lowe and agreed on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $1.2 million, plus another $100,000 in incentives.
* A source told ESPNNY.com the Yankees believe Derek Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, need to “drink the reality potion.” The unnamed source told the Web site the Yankees are still not budging from their three-year, $45 million offer, and Jeter still seeks a longer contract between $23 million and $25 million per season. Talks between the two sides did not take place during the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled, ESPNNY.com added.
* While the Jeter negotiations appear heated, ESPNNY.com added that talks between the Yankees and Mariano Rivera are “progressing much smoother.” Rivera will likely receive a bump from his 2010 salary, probably in the $16-17 million range, but the question remains whether he gets one or two years.
* Free-agent first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Lance Berkman was originally disappointed the Astros didn’t want him back, but the Texas product told The Houston Chronicle “there’s been a lot of interest” in his services. Berkman specifically named the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Athletics, Pirates and Blue Jays as teams who have been in touch, but added he hasn’t received a formal offer yet. Berkman has said he’d prefer to play in the National League, adding that he’s still capable of serving as an outfielder and first baseman.
* The Astros have talked about the possibility of an extension with right-hander Wandy Rodriguez, general manager Ed Wade told The Houston Chronicle. Rodriguez hits free agency after the 2011 season.
* The Mets will do their due diligence in shopping shortstop Jose Reyes this winter, but considering his value has never been lower, it would be shocking if they actually went ahead and traded him, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes.
* The Twins have until late December to agree on a contract with Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who sounds like someone excited to play in Minnesota. In quotes passed along by The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nishioka told the Japanese press he has no preference between shortstop and second base and said, “I don’t think that I will give up the idea of going to the Majors because of the amount of money.”
“Minnesota Twins has been contending to the playoff every year,” he added. “To play for the good team is one of my wishes. I am happy that I could advance one step forward.” The Twins won their exclusive-negotiating for Nishioka on Friday and could use him to fill their middle-infield needs.
– Alden Gonzalez
The Cubs are in pursuit of a first baseman this offseason and one option could be Lance Berkman. He told FoxSports.com that the Cubs are one of the teams that has inquired about him. Berkman said the A’s have been the “most aggressive” in terms of contact. He would like to return to the National League, which would work in the Cubs’ favor. He made $14.5 million last season and would have to accept less money to sign with the Cubs.
Berkman, who will be 35 on Feb. 10, said he was limited in 2010 after arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee.
“I’m probably viewed as a declining player,” Berkman told FoxSports.com. “I don’t blame teams for thinking like that. But I don’t view myself that way. If I was to honestly assess where I’m at, I feel like last year was the result of me being hurt.
“My knee was hurt all year. The kind of injury I had prevented me from using my legs when I hit. In my mind, I can scratch that off and say that I’ll be healthy next year, be the player I was prior to the 2009 season. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.
“Obviously, I’ve got to get an opportunity,” he said. “I’ve got to go out there and prove it.”
– Carrie Muskat